Feeds

UN: APAC is world's most digitally divided region

Urges massive investment in land and under-sea fibre

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Asia Pacific region is the world's most digitally divided, with huge investment in land and sea-based fibre optic networks and improved public-private partnerships necessary to close the gap between the haves and have-nots, the UN has said.

The UN’s Economic and Social Commission for APAC (ESCAP) is holding a three day meeting of policymakers and industry experts in Bangkok this week, designed to thrash out new approaches to the region’s widening ICT gaps.

ESCAP executive secretary Noeleen Heyzer told attendees that the region is the most technologically divided in the world.

Just under a quarter of the population has internet access, compared to the likes of North America (78.4 per cent), Europe (68 per cent) and Latin America and the Caribbean (32.7 per cent).

In addition, only six per cent of APAC-dwellers in developing countries have access to high speed broadband services.

At one end of the scale are countries like Korea – recently proclaimed by the UN as the world’s most advanced ICT economy – and Japan, while at the other, is landlocked Laos.

Here it would cost an individual 111 per cent of their monthly Gross National Income (GNI) to buy a month’s subscription for an entry-level broadband package, while in Korea the equivalent would cost just 1.56 per cent of GNI per capita, the UN said.

Heyzer claimed that internet-based technology advances can help governments run their countries in a more open and efficient manner – through G-clouds and use of Big Data – drive economic growth and spur innovation.

However, the digital divide cuts several ways – across age, education, gender and region – she said.

“Technological innovations continue to astound, but the full potential of ICT will only be realised if these transformative technologies are also accompanied by shared values, shared commitment, and shared solidarity for inclusive and sustainable development, for our people and for our planet,” she said in an opening speech.

“For this to happen, we need strong commitments by governments, private sector, and civil society alike to a common set of values based on principles of sustainability, equal access, social justice.” ESCAP's three-pronged plan to close the divide includes: public-private partnerships to provide cutting edge ICTs; improved capacity building; and massive investment in fibre-optic infrastructure.

ESCAP will be rolling out a regional map of fibre optic routes to assist in the latter, and “more precisely identify communication choke-points, missing links and investment opportunities”, Heyzer said. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.